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3D magnetohydrodynamic modelling of a dc low-current plasma arc batch reactor at very high pressure in helium

Abstract : This paper deals with a three-dimensional (3D) time-dependent magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) model under peculiar conditions of very high pressures (from 2 MPa up to 10 MPa) and low currents (<1 A). Studies on plasma arc working under these unusual conditions remain almost unexplored because of the technical and technological challenges to develop a reactor able to sustain a plasma at very high pressures. The combined effect of plasma reactivity and high pressure would probably open the way towards new promising applications in various fields: chemistry, lightning, materials or nanomaterial synthesis. A MHD model helps one to understand the complex and coupled phenomena surrounding the plasma which cannot be understood by simply experimentation. The model also provides data which are difficult to directly determine experimentally. The model simulates an experimental-based batch reactor working with helium. The particular reactor in question was used to investigate the Fischer-Tropsch application, fluorocarbon production and CO2 retro-conversion. However, as a first approach in terms of MHD, the model considers the case for helium as a non-reactive working gas. After a detailed presentation of the model, a reference case has been fully analysed (P = 8 MPa, I = 0.35 A) in terms of physical properties. The results show a bending of the arc and displacement of the anodic arc root towards the top of the reactor, due to the combined effects of convection, gravity and electromagnetic forces. A parametric study on the pressure (2-10 MPa) and current (0.25-0.4 A) was then investigated. The operating pressure does not show an influence on the contraction of the arc but higher pressures involve a higher natural convection in the reactor, driven by the density gradients between the cold and hot gas.
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Submitted on : Monday, March 25, 2013 - 5:24:55 PM
Last modification on : Friday, August 5, 2022 - 9:24:27 AM



Alexandre Lebouvier, Samuel Iwarere, Deresh Ramjugernath, Laurent Fulcheri. 3D magnetohydrodynamic modelling of a dc low-current plasma arc batch reactor at very high pressure in helium. Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, IOP Publishing, 2013, 46 (14), 145203 - 12 p. ⟨10.1088/0022-3727/46/14/145203⟩. ⟨hal-00804554⟩



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